Though I write about simple healthy living now, I’m what I call an “entrepreneur to the core”, having spent the past 15 years building businesses from home while raising my three kids.
My entrepreneurial experience includes:
- Freelance copywriting (my first business)
- Inventing two baby blankets called Swaddleaze and Blankeaze, which I sold to Summer Infant in 2008
- Creating and selling a mobile apps portfolio (apps were an epic fail for me)
- Founding, building, and selling TheMogulMom.com, the leading website for mom entrepreneurs
- Being interviewed and featured in The New York Times, Working Mother, Fox Business News, ProBlogger, Entrepreneur, Visa Business Network, Daily Worth, Etsy Blog, Simple Mom, American Express OPEN Forum, SheKnows and YellowPages.com, as well as several best-selling books including The $100 Startup, The Digital Mom Handbook, and The Well-Fed Writer: Back for Seconds
Since I love to talk shop and people still ask me what business tools I use, I thought I’d share them all in one place. :)
The links below that are marked with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links, which means that I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) when you click on these links and make a purchase. Please know that I only recommend things that I personally use + love, and that I feel may be useful to you as well. And, these commissions help keep me in wine and non-fiction. ;)
WordPress: In my book, WordPress is the absolute best publishing platform. It’s free, easy to manage, and has a great community. You can set up your own WordPress site for about $150. Learn how with my free tutorial How to Build a WordPress Website in 10 Easy Steps.
*Bluehost: Affordable hosting, excellent customer service, and 1-click WordPress installs. Get your self-hosted WordPress site up and running in minutes! If you haven’t purchased a domain name yet, Bluehost has you covered. Get started now for just $3.95 per month.
*Genesis: Genesis is a WordPress framework that provides a secure and search engine optimized foundation that’s easy to customize and very user-friendly. Learn more about the Genesis framework with this beginner’s guide.
*Introducing StudioPress Sites: StudioPress Sites offers an easier solution for people who’d rather not be bothered with cobbling together WordPress, hosting, and a theme. Think of StudioPress sites as WordPress made easy without sacrificing power or flexibility. It’s perfect for bloggers, podcasters, and affiliate marketers, as well as those selling physical products, digital downloads, and membership programs. This site is now a StudioPress Site and I love it! Get your StudioPress Site now.
GoDaddy Bookkeeping: When I started my first business, I didn’t track income or expenses. What a nightmare that turned out to be when I was audited by the IRS. Since 2010, I’ve used GoDaddy Bookkeeping (formerly Outright), and it makes my life, business, and tax time infinitely easier. You can be up and running on GDB in about 10 minutes, and with just one-click, you can have your Schedule-C done + ready for Uncle Sam at tax time. Every serious business owner needs GoDaddy Bookkeeping.
*CreativeLive: CreativeLive brings the world’s greatest experts to you live and makes dynamic education accessible to everyone. Watch live online workshops — for free — and interact with instructors in real time. Choose from Business Basics, Marketing + Sales, Productivity, Social Media, and more.
Dropbox: Never lose your files again. With Dropbox, you can store all of your documents on the cloud instead. All your stuff is in one place, and you can share files easily with anyone. Get up to 2 GB of storage space absolutely free just for signing up. Get more space by sharing Dropbox with others.
ColorHexa: This “color encyclopedia” provides information about any color and helps you find just the right palette for your website or creatives. I use #666fcc here on the site.
*PicMonkey: They say it’s “photo editing made fun”, and they’re right. PicMonkey is the place to edit photos, create collages, and design cool stuff like images for Facebook + Twitter! I have the Royale account which includes tons of good stuff like premium fonts, overlays, frames, + textures. And at just $33 per year, it’s well worth it.
*MailerLite: After many years with MailChimp, I made the switch to MailerLite. Why? Because MailerLite has a “forever free” account for up to 1,000 subscribers and it includes all of their amazing features like autoresponders, pop-ups, landing pages, campaign reports, click maps, A/B split testing, auto resend, and tons more! And, once your list grows past the forever free plan, MailerLite’s pricing is soooo affordable! In fact, it’s less than half that of major competitors like MailChimp, AWeber, and ConvertKit! Check out MailerLite now.
*Freedom: Block distractions and get more done. This is the app I’ve been waiting for all my online life! ;) Freedom blocks apps and websites on all of your devices – your Mac, PC, iPhone, and iPad. You can totally customize what you block and when, schedule “freedom sessions” when you want to bang out some serious work, and even go into “locked mode” when you just can’t keep yourself honest. LOL. Freedom is 40% off for a limited time, so give it a try now.
*SmarterQueue: After using a different, more expensive service, I have switched to SmarterQueue for my social media scheduling. With SQ, my social media updates never go to waste. Create categories for your social updates, design a custom posting schedule for each of your social networks, and build a library of social updates – then, SmarterQueue takes care of the rest. Get a free 30-day SmarterQueue trial right here (and then it’s just $19.99 per month!).